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Apple

Apple Plans New Spaceship-like Campus 279

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the spend-spend-spend dept.
itwbennett has a story that might answer the question of what Apple is doing with the billions they have in the bank. "Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Tuesday presented plans for a new Apple campus to the Cupertino City Council. The office building will look 'a little like a spaceship landed,' said Jobs. It will also be just 4 stories tall, is big enough to house all 12,000 Apple employees (with room for growth), and will generate its own energy." Keep reading to see the riveting town council meeting.

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Apple Plans New Spaceship-like Campus

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:46AM (#36374950)

    Why do I have a feeling that the Steve Jobs story is going to end with him and a large number of followers drinking arsenic-laced kool-aid in an effort to travel to the alien home planet of Klatlun?

  • by identity0 (77976) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:50AM (#36374998) Journal

    The circular shape is reminiscent of the UK's GCHQ "Doughtnut" [cryptome.org] building. GCHQ is their equivalent of the NSA, they do sigint for the Queen.

  • In that video he does not look good.

    • Re:He looks sick (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:08AM (#36375264)

      I still have to give him props for actually showing up to the meeting. He could have easily sent the summer intern or any number of other people involved with the project. Instead the CEO of a Forture 50 company shows up to a town hall meeting to discuss the new building they're building.

      And regardless of what company is building this (and peoples opinions of that company) this actually looks like a pretty cool 'green' endeavor. Less wasted space on parking, more trees, less energy consumption. I wish more companies thought like this.

    • by joh (27088)

      In that video he does not look good.

      He clearly looks like someone with a nutrition problem. On the other hand I've seen obese people his age who don't look exactly healthier.

      • Steve Jobs has liver disease and pancreatic cancer. The weight loss is probably due to the treatments he has to undertake.

        • Re:He looks sick (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @12:21PM (#36376232)
          No. He HAD pancreatic cancer which (probably) spread to his liver. He has a new liver and as a result has to (or had to) take anti-rejection drugs, and no pancreas and a bunch of other missing stuff due the whipple procedure used to remove the pancreas, etc. He probably has a hell of a time absorbing nutrients, maintaining his blood sugar, etc. I respect the man for continuing to get out of bed every day.
  • by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @10:55AM (#36375080)

    Seems like Steve saw Walt Disney's old video about the true vision of EPCOT and decided to make it happen.

    He was in good form, despite looking poorly. The inane comments from the city council members couldn't have helped.

  • I like how at 7:06 in the video the artists rendition of the elevation view of the new building includes the obligatory iPod-wearing, air guitar playing youth in the foreground. I wonder if the city council is getting ad revenue for this event.

  • makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by satsuke (263225) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:01AM (#36375160)

    I won't comment on the aesthetics of the building, but it seems a no brainer for a company like Apple to build a thoroughly modern building like this.

    At least I don't see Apple going out of business anytime soon and they can practically write a check for the whole thing. The money being an opportunity cost that will pay back over the longer term with less building energy costs and having everyone in one place / no lease costs for other locations.

    Only downside might be if they ever did need to sell it or lease space to others in the future. (this doesn't seem structured like say the Sprint Nextel campus in Overland Park Kansas .. where the buildings were restructured for other companies use after the original occupant didn't need them anymore for various reasons.

    • by vlm (69642)

      they can practically write a check for the whole thing

      From finance.google.com, financials, balance sheet

      "Cash & Equivalents 15,978.00" "In Millions of USD"

      Hmm. A building that costs more than 15 billion dollars?

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      Why would it be hard to re-purpose sections of the building for use by other companies? It seems like this will be, more or less, general-purpose office space. You could as easily have an accounting company, a law firm, or the corporate headquarters of virtually any small/medium company in a part of the building.

      The building is a ring, right? So, a few degrees (or if you prefer, a few tenths of a radian) of the circumference could be 'partitioned off', given its own entrance and be leased out.

      What's so hard

    • One of the reasons Apple gave for buying the property was that they are leasing nearby space. As a renter, they can only do so much modification to the current space.
  • That's like 3% of IBM's total workforce. No wonder Apple has those revenue numbers...
  • I was expecting -- nay -- hoping to see the onion news logo in the video.

  • Jobs mentioned using natural gas to generate their energy. This being Apple, I'm a bit surprised they aren't planning to cover the roof with PV panels, or perhaps use the big empty space in the middle of the building to build a solar-thermal tower, with a field of mirrors surrounding the buildings. Maybe throw up a few of the big Wind Turbines to augment the solar.

    That would, however, interfere with them making the rest of the campus be greenspace with lots of trees, which they want. Still, at least the PV

  • by Candid88 (1292486) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:16AM (#36375362)

    Looks very nice with the stunning scenery of a forest. Really brings out the building. As we all know though, in reality the scenery of such designs usually gets switched from the beautiful parklands, lakes or forest in to a giant car park with a tree and a puddle in the corner.

    It's the surroundings which make a good building into an amazing design, and it's the surroundings which most often fail new builds.

    Hopefully Apple can get it right.

    • On a trip in Korea I remember seeing a new hotel being built in between another pair of 10 story buildings...the artists rendition posted in front of the site showed it sitting in an open green field with no other buildings around it...in reality, 2/3rds of the building wasn't visible at all from the street.

    • by whiteboy86 (1930018) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @12:51PM (#36376614)
      If you bothered to watch the video you would have known that they are increasing the number of trees from 3000 (current state) to 6000 trees on the site. The multilevel car park will be all underground and the building will be self-powered by those fancy green power generators Google is using already. So it will be green and also local environment friendly. Given the unlimited resources they have at their disposal I bet the project is realized the way they plan it and as intended, no snake words, gloomy conclusions or the general /. pessimism is needed here.
  • by rotide (1015173) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:19AM (#36375416)
    I'm no Apple fan, but damn do people elect stupid people to City Council. That Kris lady or whatever doesn't care about anything besides "Free WiFi" [goto 13:19]. That's what she wants for the city. Screw tax revenue, new residents, etc, etc, no, she wants Apple to give her free WiFi. Again, I don't like Apple, but Steve's response was great, basically, (paraphrased), "We'll give you WiFi when you stop taxing us, since that's what taxes are for, public works projects".
    • by m93 (684512)
      She was saying stupid things, but you can bet the farm on this: everyone at that council table knows who dad is in Cupertino.
  • By joking around that it will look like a landed spaceship, no one would ever suspect that it was a space-time ship ready to take Steve jobs back home where he can be given a new cancer free body and then return with a new range of gadgets to hawk.

  • by guttentag (313541) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:46AM (#36375820) Journal
    • The new campus would be not far from the existing campus, on the north side of Interstate 280, one exit east, between Wolfe and Tantau, adjacent to the freeway.
    • The new building would provide office space for 12,000 to 13,000 people starting around 2015.
    • The new building would have its own auditorium because they don't like having to go up to the Moscone Center in San Francisco (the traditional home of the MacWorld expo, which was once Apple's primary stage for announcements) every time they announce a new products
    • The property seems like it would be like a large park with a parking structure WAAAY off by the freeway and a lot of parking underground.
    • Jobs said Apple has learned a lot from building all its Apple stores around the world and as a result can make really big pieces of curved glass that would be used in construction here. There wouldn't be any flat glass on the building. He said he felt architecture students would come from all over to see it.
    • The land was originally apricot orchards and he has hired a Stanford horticulturist to consult on ensuring indigenous trees are planted, including more apricot orchards.
    • Jobs mentioned that he called Bill Hewlett at home (looked him up in the phone book because there were no unlisted numbers then) when he was 13 and asked him for some spare parts, and it was about that time that HP bought the land Apple plans to use for this
    • One member of the city council attempted to haggle with Jobs, listening to his plans for this new campus and suggesting that in exchange for letting Apple stay in the city Apple should provide free WiFi (a la Google in nearby Mountain View). Jobs responded by calling himself a simpleton, and said he's always believed that the city should provide those services using the money Apple pays in taxes as the largest taxpayer in the city. He did offer to provide WiFi if the city would allow Apple an exemption from paying taxes. She played if off like she was joking at that point, but I think she seriously thought she was going to haggle with Jobs over this.
    • The city asked for their own Apple store so they don't have to go to Apple stores in Santa Clara's Valley Fair mall or downtown Los Gatos, but Jobs said the traffic isn't there to make it work, to which the city replied, "we'll help you make it work." No response from Jobs on this, though. The new campus would be walking distance from the Cupertino Square Mall, which is relatively small, anchored by a Sears, Macy's and JC Penny and underwent a major renovation a few years ago. That brought in a nice new AMC theater which I think does well, but the rest of the mall seems constantly on the brink of folding, with lots of empty spaces (even before the great recession) and cheap no-name stores... Jobs would never say it but Apple doesn't want its brand associated with that.
  • If history has any lesion for us it is that when a company decides to build a statement building it frequently coincides with the decline of the company. Mr. Cringley talked about this few months back
    http://www.cringely.com/2010/12/edifice-complex/ [cringely.com]

    • by Genda (560240)

      "If history has any lesion for us"...

      Would that make this a sore subject???

  • Everyone thinks it's a building for Apple employees, but it's really a walled garden to put everyone else in. Mark my words, it will be built inside-out.
  • Looks a lot like a synchrotron [wikipedia.org] to me.
  • ...what those glass-cutting machines were for. [googleusercontent.com]

    You'd think that by now people would learn how it goes with Apple rumors. [misterbg.org]

  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @12:06PM (#36376066) Homepage Journal

    Usually when a company announces plans for a whizbang new campus, it's bad news for the stockholders.

    I have a friend who many years ago worked for a high tech company that planned a beautiful new Utopian campus. For various reasons they were forced to reduce the size of the project. They decided to house management and marketing at the luxurious new campus and stick the engineers miles away in a big box full of cubicles. As for the engineers, keeping management and marketing out of their hair on a day to day basis easily made up for having to work in a giant cubicle farm. The downside was that management lost touch and began demanding silly things and not taking engineering advice seriously. The subsequent poor performance of the company turned the showcase campus into an expensive fiasco. The campus was abandoned a few years later when the company was forced to sell out to a competitor.

    It sounds like Apple is doing the opposite here, bringing people who have to work together in a very nice environment. I'll bet there'll be ideas generated and knowledge transferred on strolls through this campus that wouldn't have happened in a formal meeting that required a drive across town. This really looks like a case for what architects often claim but seldom achieve: making buildings that work for the people who use them.

    • by theurge14 (820596)

      I wonder if Steve Jobs is drawing off his experience with Pixar and how much their company changed when they moved into their campus in Emeryville.

  • Pollution! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tnk1 (899206) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @12:21PM (#36376240)

    I hope they have done an environmental impact report for all of the Smug they will be adding to the atmosphere.

  • by BearRanger (945122) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @12:51PM (#36376600)

    That's no building. I see through your nefarious plan, Jobs. You're building a giant transmutation circle. You'll fill it with 13,000 souls, perform horrifying experiments on them, and then sacrifice them all in order to create a Philosopher's Stone for yourself. You've pushed the boundaries of medical science and human alchemy is all that's left to you now...

    Come on, people. Of course I'm not serious. Or am I...?

  • So they're going to build a new building? Great!

    Of course, several questions loom over such a project... and nobody asked him anything related. For instance, what will happen with the tons and tons of refuse generated from the destruction and cleanup of the existing building and asphalt? Since they are going to generate their own electricity, will they fall under EPA rules or will they be exempt since it isn't sold? How much fuel and water will be stored on site - and will it be located next to the apar

  • The description of the new building reminds me very much of the Panopticon:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon [wikipedia.org]

    From the Wiki article: "The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the incarcerated being able to tell whether they are being watched."

    Like this, but with bigger windows:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Presidio_Modelo.JPG [wikipedia.org]

    Employee? Prisoner? Who's to say?

  • and Flavor Aid on tap.
  • Given the massive Apple payroll, Jobs could demand a virgin be presented to him at every full moon, and the Cupertino City Council would unanimously vote Aye!
    #StandardOil2.0
  • by An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @04:39PM (#36379982)

    This building is completely not built on a human scale. It places offices and services far from eachother. It's seemed DESIGNED to make people drive.

    Take the giant ring and compress it into a 20-40 story dome. Not only would it result in better interconnection between offices, cafeterias, and such, but it would bemore energy efficient (a dome has the least amount of surface area to exchange heat with the outside).

    It would use less land, leaving more space for parkland, a farm, solar plant, whatever you want to use it for.

    Instead of building a huge fucking parking garage you could place it next to a Caltrain station, and encourage people to use Caltrain to get to work instead of driving.

    Hell they could build it in Santa Clara by the Caltrain station there (there's a ton of poorly used space on the north side of it). This is a stop for not only Caltrain (San Jose San Francisco), but also Capitol Corridor (San Jose Oakland Sacramento), and ACE (San Jose Livermore Stockton).

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